Green, green grass of home

My weekend wasn’t all grumbling because I missed the Havock Fiasco, wrestling star pickets and chook wrangling.  On Saturday afternoon I was enjoying the late afternoon sun in the backyard, watching the rainbow lorikeets squabble with the honeyeaters over nectar-laden tea tree flowers while getting the laundry in. Glancing over into the yard of the neighbours I despise… yes, the rhythm impaired would-be drummer who likes to warm up his motorbike at oh-too-effing-early hundred hours… I noticed a burgeoning marijuana plantation on their patio roof.

Now, I’ve got no fundamental opposition to the Devil’s Weed. For every tormented soul who ends up needing long term psychiatric care because of  over-indulgence in Nimbin’s favourite medicinal herb, there are probably quite a few others enjoying a quiet smoke at home without drama. In fact, I reckon a lot of people would be better off with a joint than a six-pack. Drunks punch on and crash cars, taking out many of the sober  as collateral damage, whereas stoned people giggle, eat Tim Tams, watch dubious DVDs and fall asleep. Any stoners who manage to summon up the motivation to drive anywhere are likely to be travelling so far UNDER the speed limit that they roll to a gentle stop if anything untoward happens. And, you know, hypocrisy is tedious. I went to U of Q – if you’ve seen Tassie Babes you’ve pretty much seen the early half of my twenties.

However, cultivating Cannibis sativa on the patio roof (or, indeed, anywhere) is considered naughty under current state legislation. I have no intention of dobbing them in to the cops – the retired detective who lives on the other side of them has an equally good line of sight to their patio roof, I’m sure he’s onto it – but I can’t help but think that I can use this information in some way to perhaps encourage them not to renew their lease.

What do you reckon?

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88 Responses

  1. Small business in this country needs all the help it can get.

    I think you should post a ‘fresh organic greens for sale’ sign on the internet, preferably youtube, and offer the real estate agent’s mobile number as the contact details.

  2. Wait until the plants are mature, then when the revhead hophead drummer is out, pinch ’em! Who are they going to tell??

  3. The bikies that distribute it for them, and who probably supply ingredients for the meth lab in the kitchen.

    My experience of modern drug dealers is that they’ve learned to diversify.

  4. Hehehe. “Fresh Organic Greens”. You’re brilliant and devious people – I’m honoured to know you.

    The thought of the crystal meth lab in the kitchen is a bit sobering, though. Those playpens of Satan tend to go boom! a bit too often for me to be keen on having one next door. The dope is probably just to unwind after another long, stressful cook-up, d’ya think? Or maybe they sell Rollercoaster Party Packs, with all your weekend warrior requirements.

    You’re right, we should encourage small business. It’s lovely to think that they’ll have something to pass down to their two little girls… if the kiddies aren’t wiped out by explosive toxins, that is.

  5. A neighbour recently told me that the fines for growing tobacco in your yard are about three times as much as the fines for growing wacky weed.

    I wonder how he knows that?

    He breeds racing greyhounds in his back yard, so I sincerely hope it isn’t through personal experience – or the GRA might start watching his dogs very, very closely.

  6. I don’t think Mary Jane would help the dish lickers much on the track, Catty. They’d just get chilled and want to lie down and listen to Bob Marley.

    Nicotine, on the other hand, IS a stimulant. Hard to get a greyhound to hold a cigarette, what with the lack of opposable thumbs and everything, though… perhaps snuff? Keep an eye out, check if the poor puppies are sneezing a lot.

  7. Like I said, these days it pays to diversify.
    Greyhounds, Speed.
    I can see how that could be a winning combination.

  8. I don’t know if it’s relevant, but the neighbour just tried his hand at raising chooks.

    What was he thinking? I mean, how many seconds did he think chooks would last in a yard with 8 greyhounds?

  9. It depends how high he raised them.
    How high can a high greyhound jump?

  10. Hehehe. A greyhound can get higher than you’d think, particularly if it’s been into the cash crop (boom, boom).

    Catty, was he really attempting to rear the chooks, do you think – or were they more a training incentive or motivational aid? Perhaps a clever way to get around the GRA’s salary cap?

  11. He said it was because the price of eggs was too high. Or the price of dog food. Or something.

  12. Erm, MM, I think you’ll find that the two little girls will end up vying for the title of ‘Employee of the Month’ by the time they’re in grade four.

    I worked with under fives for a good part of my youth and I learned to loathe stoner parents. My philosophy re: dope is similar to yours, but when you bring children into the equation, my fingers tend to do some walking towards the DOCS hotline.
    That way they can check if there’s food in the fridge and the children aren’t being rented out to the customers at an hourly rate as a two-for-one deal.

    I shit you not, I had to make one of those calls with some tenants of the boarding house about five years ago.
    Young girl, tough as nails, who stole things down at south bank by day and peddled drugs and her body by night – while her three year old son was in the same room.
    She had a boyfriend who was fresh out of jail and his main role in her life seemed to be to clean out the fridge and eat whatever scraps she’d left in there for the kid.

    Odds are good they’re growing the dope to support a nastier habit. Thanks to the meth clinic down the road, we see a lot of that around here.
    Decent human beings don’t expose their children to that.

  13. Gulp. I hadn’t thought it through to that extent. Sobering stuff, Quokka… you’re so right it’s terrifying.

    So, do you think the cops would notify DOCS (I think it’s called something else, now) automatically, or do I call DOCS direct and let them decide whether or not to involve the cops?

    Aargh! This sucks. I want to go back to trying not to become engaged in conversation with them, and sticking pins in a poppet everytime the bike roars into life before dawn.

  14. Had you considered sneaking over there and stuffing as much of the crop as possible into the exhaust pipe of the bike?

    I’m also thinking about the scummy quality of KFC mousse, but bikes have key locks on their petrol tanks. More’s the pity.

  15. Sort of a two for the price of one?

    Dunno how I’d get onto the patio roof for the harvest, though. Are possums easy to train?

  16. Have you learned nothing from the Wiggles? Lasso, girl, lasso!

  17. Funny you should mention the Wiggles, actually. I’ve had a very uneasy relationship with those cheery songsters, ever since a friend of mine remarked that she wouldn’t sleep with a Wiggle, for fear he’d do that wiggly finger thing in bed.

    I just can’t look at anything in a skivvy quite the same way. I’m a Hooley Dooleys girl. Hello, Russell the Muscly kangaroo!

  18. Hooley Dooleys soured for me after Bruce departed. It just wasn’t the same.

    Notice Greg Wiggle and Bruce Hooley Dooley both wore the yellow shirt? Hmmm, I smell a conspiracy…..

    No, scratch that. It’s the chocolate cake, ready to come out of the oven. Taste test time!!!

  19. I found a stunned possum under the macadamia nut tree recently and I’m fairly sure that before it fell out it had helped itself to a fresh bowl of greens from the flats next door. This is one of the side benefits to having horticulturalists and greens enthusiasts as neighbours, it does tend to have interesting effects on the local wildlife – or thus goes Quokka’s Theory of Unnatural Selection.

    I’d say that it also explains the brush turkey that I found dangling from one leg between the slats of the 6 foot wooden fence but that’s just Unnatural Stupidity, and normal for them from what the RSPCA ambulance said to me.

    MM, my ethics about ‘what you do to fuck up your brain and your life is your business’ end when there are kids concerned.

    If some responsible adult wants to suck on some leaf in the quiet and seclusion of their home, I leave them be.

    If it looks like the dope is having a destructive impact on their lives – meaning that they might go psychotic and give ME some grief when they go nutso, I call the cops and jump up and down until they get busted.

    My criteria for this are:
    * Person looks like they may have untreated mental illness, tends to isolate themselves, has little social support, and starts smoking cone after cone after cone. This, I have learned, is the precursor to Major Psychotic Episode and it is not fun when they wind up sitting in the nut tree, hissing at me and throwing sticks while I am trying to hang out my washing. I shit you not, this has happened and when the mental health team from the local cop shop turned up to take him away, they reported that they’d found two flats full of tripping nimbin junkies where he came from, and they warned me to watch out for them. Great.

    * The little dweeb uni students who turn up and sit on the street outside my house to smoke their wares between the hours of 3-4pm. I figure the only reason these little shits are out there at this hour and at no other time is because this is when the school kids go past and they’re trying to attract ‘customers’ to support their own little habits.
    This, in Casa Quokka, is the equivalent of Duck Hunting Season. Mainly because I knew one particularly revolting dealer who would later lure his client base with ‘If you think that’s good, then you need to try this’ and he introduced them to smoking opium. Result – steady recruits for the more addictive substances in his kit bag. I hope there’s a special place in hell for that little rat bastard and I confess that when he died I was sorely tempted to write on his headstone ‘Good Fucking Riddance’.

    * If there are kids in the house.

    Now, I have some neighbours who used to make their kids disappear to granny’s, or sleepover or whatever on Friday nights, and this would be their night to light up.
    Fine.
    Acceptable.
    Responsible parenting.

    We have so many fucked up human beings around us that long ago, my ethics about ‘Well, I did a bit of that and I don’t want to be a hypocrite’ have been painfully and bruisingly challenged.

  20. Many years ago, I lived next door to a charming* young couple with a two year old daughter. They would sit in their back yard, choofing away continuously, courtesy of Mr Centrelink. Their idea of sport was to blow their two year old shotties until she fell over. When their son was born, they discovered that shotties would put him to sleep if he cried.

    A few months later, they began to think there might be something wrong with the boy, as he was unresponsive. So they took him back to the hospital, handed him to a nurse, and just left.
    When they got home, they resumed their favourite sport on the now three year old girl, who still was completely un-toilet trained, could not feed herself, and could not talk.

    (*sarcasm).

    I shit you not, DoCS never once came to their house. They were too busy persecuting innocent parents on the fundamental understanding that children never, ever lie. Personally, I believe that if DoCS disappeared tomorrow, child abuse stats would drop.

    Despite this, my big bugbear isn’t weedy parents, it’s parents who get rat-arsed while caring for young children. It’s against the law to drive a car if you’re trashed – but apparently, children aren’t as important as cars.

    Oops. Sorry. Getting down off my soapbox now.

  21. Ladies, just to lighten the mood, more pics and commentary at my place and Havock’s.

  22. Thanks, Mayhem… I needed that!

    Well, it’s lucky I giggled hysterically at the image of the pendant scrub turkey – I needed a few endorphins after reading those terrifying case studies. You’re right, when there’s little kids involved it’s no time for small l liberalism and a laissez faire approach.

    I agree, Catty – DOCS often seem to be very slow to act and reluctant to actually do anything constructive. And phoning the real estate might give me a great deal of personal satisfaction, but they only care about child welfare if it damages the paint work.

    *Sigh*

    It’ll have to be the cops. I only hope Mr Idiot won’t put two and two together and come after my kids… they won’t hold him in custody for a box of Mullumbimby Madness.

  23. Something I learned from my childhood – it was the neighbours who always smiled and waved (but kept a careful distance) hat were calling family services to make regular reports and he never, ever, ever worked it out.

  24. Oh, and MM, so true.
    He’ll get a slap on the wrist, but it will discourage him from doing it again – or at least he’ll learn not to do it in his own backyard.

    The benefit from losing his plantation is that all those members of humanity who weren’t previously welcome to cross his hallowed threshold – i.e. playmates for his kids, sane and functional friends and relatives who are currently denied access to Visits because said functional friends and relatives might not approve – may be allowed to visit once the crop is gone and there is no reason to isolate their kids from healthier role models.

    If there’s one thing I hate, its that druggies erect such huge psychological barriers of secrecy around their lifestyles to protect themselves from being busted.

  25. Quokka, you’re so right it’s quite scary. The only time they have people over is a few times a year, for parties that last until 5 a.m.

    I was thinking carefully about the child welfare aspect, and the children are eerily quiet and rarely seen in the backyard. That’s got to be wrong… mine are always laughing their heads off or battling to the death. And they dig up the yard worse than the dog!

    *sigh*

    Why can’t people make sensible decisions for themselves? Why do you need a licence from the CCC to breed puppies, but drug addled fools can have as many kiddies as they can spawn?

    Well, wish me luck. We’ll see what the cops have to say…

  26. Good luck, MM.

    On another note, have you guys seen this?
    I don’t do facebook, and its because I value my privacy, and have had many occasions to wonder why the teenagers in my life DONT.

    My paranoia probably dates back to the many violations of said privacy done by ASIO and Joh’s police when I was at uni and was attending no nukes and save the daintree events.

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/technology/nona-belomesoff-murder-prompts-australian-facebook-revolt/story-e6frep1o-1225867931363

  27. I think it was Flinthart who posted a blurb about Diaspora – it’s a new website being developed. It’s supposed to be like Facebook, except without the invasions of privacy. I’ll be interested to see how that goes.

  28. Some years ago I belonged to a really wonderful online community that served as a mental health carers support group.

    The person who set it up had good ethics and values but when circumstances in the original owner’s life changed, they sold it to a person with not so good ethics who was not so respectful of the community and who clearly viewed the content of the forum as a commodity to be used to ‘get rick quick’.

    There were several disputes about ownership of research and information which had been shared – anonymously through the goodness of contributor’s hearts – out of their wish to share their knowledge and expertise for free, with others in need.

    The new owner saw the potential to claim all of this information as their own and planned to write a book, which would be generating squillions, if that person had managed to get away with it.

    Most of the community saw through this person’s efforts, saw a Sociopath, sought legal aid, and then jumped up and down to have their posts withdrawn – successfully so.

    As we know all too well, a sociopath has enormous power to fracture a community and isolate it’s members, and sometimes I think that this is probably their entire raison d’etre. ‘Chaos, panic, disorder – their work here is done.’

    In this world, any kind of forum that has that much personal data on us is a valuable commodity and my concern about facebook etc is that things change.

    And it sounds like that’s the theme of that article.

    Argh. When I start arguing philosophy I know it’s time to switch off the IMAC and study.

  29. Hey, Madam, why don’t you give their address to Qokka? She can pass it anonymously to the Green Menace, written on an invitation to a bong-fest. I reckon her Green Menace can smoke all of your neighbour’s green menace in two days flat.

    You might want to be out of town that weekend.

    I also reckon your neighbour will move pretty damned quick, to prevent the rogue Irish getting their hands on any future crops. As Quokka says, druggies like to protect their privacy. Also, their drugs – from freeloaders.

  30. So, Quokka – Special Branch had a file on you too? I think my favourite march was gay law reform:
    “2,4,6,8 – How do you know your husband’s straight?”

    Couldn’t agree more about Facebook – I’ve never thought it was a sensible idea. With photos, interests, information about schools, friends, work, sporting teams etc. etc. up there, it’s like a sushi train for psychokillers – with teens and other vulnerable people the exquisite morsels up for grabs.

    The other problem, too, is when kids have scores of cyberbuddies but are disengaged from the real world – sure, you can be whomever you want in cyberspace, but the corollary is that nobody there knows the real you, either.

    My herbal problem might solve itself. Mr Underbelly came round to visit today – he reckons frost will knock them off.

  31. I’m sure they’ll try again.

    Unfortunately the Irish aren’t interested in anything but alcohol and party drugs of the ‘upper’ and ‘take this and you’ll be so fucked up you’ll think I’m the man of your dreams’ so they aren’t likely to oblige with crop theft.

    Did you ever see that episode of ‘The IT Crowd’ where the three of them all got hooked on ‘face friend’?
    It was just hilarious.
    It took all the obvious pitfalls and accelerated them into these ghastly and hilarious scenarios – the psychotic ex girlfriend found one of the boys, the girl went to a school reunion and was surrounded by a bunch of evil conniving bitches she’d been pleased to be rid of in 12th grade, and at the end of the show the ghastly sex addict boss stormed in at the reunion and when they said ‘But how did you know we were here?’ He hiccoughed drunkenly ‘What the hell do you think I do all day except stalk my staff on the internet?’

    It was sheer genius.

  32. Was that the one where Moss pretended to be Jen’s husband, so the bitches wouldn’t think she was a loser?
    I LOVED that episode! Didn’t see the closet goth, though. What ever happened to him?

  33. Sounds fabulous, but I never saw it. Anything that starts after 8 may as well not be screened, for mine. I can’t stay up that late!

    Meanwhile, I got stood up by the chook inspector yesterday afternoon. Didn’t really matter, I was just at home cajoling children to do their homework and crafting rissoles, but it made me wonder… what comes up in a chook inspector’s day to sidetrack him? Perhaps he was attacked by a flock of rogue geese and their shiftless owner? Held up trying to count poultry in someone’s yard to make sure they didn’t have more than 12, and they kept moving so hehadto start again?

    • Or maybe his wife wouldn’t let him come? You’d expect a chook inspector to be henpecked.

  34. Catty, I missed a post of yours back there. That family sounds awful. How distressing to have to witness that every day.

    And yes, I think that was the episode where Jen persuaded Moss to pose as her husband. I tried to post the link to it on youtube but youtube isn’t happy with me these days, I’m hoping it’s something at their end rather than mine. MM, if you search YT for ‘face friend’ it should come up as the IT Crowd beside it and there’s a few clips from the show. The beginning has the smiley icon. Hilarious, that show. I’ve only seen a few as I’m often asleep by 8.30pm too.

    The mystery of the vanishing chook inspector.
    Hmm.
    I’m sure I read a Trixie Belden title by that name, in my youth.
    The chook inspectors in the BCC also doubled as Boarding House inspectors and before the old coot next door died and passed his legacy onto the current partnership that is Team Landlord, I had plenty of opportunities to observe that BCC complaints of many natures were handled by the same bunch of old guys. I’m sure one of them was a Ratter in the days when they used to come around to your house with Jack Russell terriers and send cats, children and vermin alike all scurrying for some sort of fall out shelter.

    They were always keen to come out to the boarding house as they got a great giggle out of 1. The Coot and his tenants 2. My description of their latest infringements of the rules of society and basic hygiene.

    It was very hard to persuade cootie that a stream of effluent flooding onto the footpath was in any way undesirable. Five years after his death, his stretch of easement is still the greenest on the block.

    So the phrase ‘This I’ve got to see,’ was followed by their prompt appearance, an hour after my latest fit of apoplexy over happenings next door. They’d then ring me up and regale me at length about how much worse the horror of it all really was once you got beyond the threshold.

    I miss those guys.

    I have more experience of unreliability from officers in Town Planning, when we put in our DA to add a second story to our house, some years ago.

    It cost us $600, was supposed to be processed in three months, and was still not done in 6.

    I kept calling the Dufus in charge and kept being told ‘he’s away.’
    ‘Why? and Where?’
    They only had two answers.
    1. Rostered Day Off
    2. He’s at a training session.

    I calculated that in 6 months he was only at work for 3 days per week, at the most.

    So I would suggest that your Chicken Inspector was
    1. Out fishing, on his RDO, and as your appointment fell on an RDO, that’s the last you’ll see of him.
    2. He was out on a training session, learning how to count chickens in more efficient ways (before they’re hatched?) and in accordance with the latest regulations for workplace health and safety. (i.e. on no account get your hands or your feet dirty)

    Maybe they were at a seminar with delivery men.
    I saw a new washing machine being delivered to the house next door and I overheard the delivery guy explaining ‘Well, that won’t work. I’m not allowed to go up more than 10 stairs.’

    A delivery guy tried that line on me last year when our bathroom tiles were being delivered and I replied ‘Perhaps you need a desk job.’

    He was eyeing off the long flight of stairs to our front door and I said ‘No worries. I can offer a solution which involves going up two stairs. See that hill up the back of the house? Off you go.’

    He eyed the goat track up the cliff and had a rapid change of heart about the front stairs.

  35. Roundup!

  36. Genius.
    Something that works on the chickens, and the hydroponic crop.

    Take two gold stars and move to the top of the class.

  37. Hehehe. Love your work, Quokka and Stafford.

    I wish I’d had a chance to see the Rat Gang in action… they and their talented canines are probably in a special section of Heaven, yarning around a campfire with the Nightsoil Men and Gaslighters. Most of the Chicken Sexers are there too… or on their way.

    Delivery men are a strange breed, seemingly averse to actually doing any deliveries. I had a large heavy washing machine delivered to my place once, when I was heavily pregnant with Elf Boy. Part of my negotiation for the sale price of the new washer was installation, and removal of the defunct one. When the washer arrived it was accompanied by one… solo… lonely weedy young man who suggested that I might like to help him in with the machine because his mate was off sick.

    I declined.

    He eventually dragged it into the laundry by himself, chipping the bathroom vanity on his way. I wonder, though, if the beating the machine took in the process contrubuted to its demise just a few months after the warranty expired.

  38. Health and safety can be a bit of a joke at times. But not always. The Boss is asked daily to do ridiculous things, like lifting a 5 metre long steel beam to the top of an 8 metre high rack, and bolt it into place by hand. Without a scissor lift. Or a co-worker. Some of these steel beams weigh half a ton, mind you.
    He used to ask the client “how?” but was frequently met with bewildered looks, and comments like “I don’t know, you’re the tradesman”. Now he just gives them a bewildered look. It seems to work, as they are used to dimwitted tradies, so they go and ring the Boss’s employer. Who then sends a co-worker and a scissorlift.
    The Boss, and his employer, have been working together on and off since their teens. They’re now in their 40’s. You’d think the employer would have given up trying to get away with it by now.
    Maybe the Boss should give up and get a job as a chicken inspector. He likes chickens.

  39. There’s a lot to recommend chook inspecting… fresh air, fresh eggs, plenty of travel (from coop to coop, anyway), dealing with ridiculous whinging neighbours who are determined to thwart my every endeavour, to the extent that if I plant a seed she rings council to say “Kill it before it grows”… sorry, I got a bit carried away there and sidetracked into “I Shot the Sheriff”, where was I?

  40. I think you were eyeing off the star pickets and considering their potential.
    😦

  41. Well that didn’t work.
    How do you make a smiley face?

  42. I make my face smiley with Corona and Lemon.

    Two Coronas = much hilarity, usually involving comments I have to apologise for the next day.

    Three Coronas, and you get “New York, New York”, puke, and the unenviable task of carrying me to bed.

  43. a : and an ), thusly 🙂

    Or at least 90 intensive minutes of monkey sex.

    The punctuation marks are tidier and won’t get you pregnant.

    However, the emoticon you came up with is probably how one SHOULD look, confronted by me wielding a star picket with vengance in my heart. The only thing stopping me from uprooting one right now and setting about smiting my foes is the amount of time and trouble we just took relocating the damn things!

    Is it that time of the month again, already?

  44. Yes. Yes it is.

  45. I find it hard to tell, what with the ALzheimer’s and that other thing I keep forgetting…

    I used to know because I’d get carbohydrate cravings – but those seem to have plateaued at the “constant urgent craving” level.

  46. Yes, I do believe you’re right.
    I know this because I’m sitting here wishing with all my heart that I was an only child – and because that wish does not involve retrospective contraception, but the foundations of Madame’s chicken run.

  47. Quokka, there’s a house being auctioned two doors down from me. If the family gets too much, I can highly recommend pulling up stumps (or star pickets) and moving interstate. Don’t give them a forwarding address, just leave them to it.

    The solicitors will track you down once your rellies have finished killing each other. Plus, there are lots of lovely rats just two doors away that your cats will love. Best of all, there’s a shopping centre directly over the back fence – there are good pickings to be had over there, PMS-confectionery-cravings-wise.

    But no strawberry balls. I looked. Bastards.

  48. 😦 Can’t be stuffed writing it all again… deets at catty’s place 😦

  49. If it’s not chicken whingers its your own family…

    Not that its likely to make you feel any better, Quokka – other than to know that EVERYONE’S family suffers from endemic F.I.T.H syndrome – but we were blessed this week with the happy news that my sister will be gracing us from interstate in October.

    For Christmas (in October) but we are forbidden from eating Christmas food or exchanging gifts. No, she’s not a Jehovah’s Witness, just…


    temperamental.

  50. According to the Jews, Jesus was born on September 11th. And they should know. So eat what you want, and tell your sister it’s her own fault for showing up a month late. If that fails, there are always star pickets. That’s if Quokka’s finished with them.

    Oh, and thanks Madam. I am now craving Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. *sigh* But all I have is a Darrell Lea Walnut Log. The man at Darrell Lea said I’m not supposed to eat the log like a banana. I say, what would he know?

    Lots of positive thoughts, Mayhem. We’re here if you need us.

  51. When you say “eat it like a banana”, Catty, do you mean peeling the wrapper down in strips…or pretty much whole, without chewing much?

    I wouldn’t try blending it into a shake, either way. Our resilient Australian confectionary would not put up with that sort of treatment… not even if your blender blades are tungsten coated.

  52. Tungsten coating….. Mmmmmm….

  53. Thinking of you this morning, Mayhem… fingers crossed xo

  54. I thought I posted something here last night saying I’m glad Mayhem is OK.

    Clearly I’m going mad, or madder than usual, or I’m missing something.

    Jennicki’s Aunt Flo and My Cousin George are visiting, so I may be a bit more addled than usual. However it sounds like the rest of you are expecting obnoxious visitors so I’m guessing you’ll understand.

    Other than that I should probably make my apologies in anticipation of about 4 weeks of cramming. Big exam on Tuesday 15 June.

    Today I have the cabinet maker here from 10am installing the last of the cabinets/shelves at Casa Quokka. Its the last bit of shelving etc for the study nook. Which means I can finally unpack the 6 enormous boxes of books and folders that have been sitting in what should be my home office but has been my bedroom since the Green Menace moved in.

    I’ve been having nightmares about living inside an enormous pile of shit. I suspect it’s a metaphor for my family, but once those GD boxes are unpacked I think I will finally feel like I’m settled again.

    They’d better not fuck up!

    Oh, and Mayhem, on the subject of doctors – grr.
    No offence at those we know and love, mind.
    I went back to the carpal tunnel guy yesterday to see if he’d do the surgery on my left wrist before the one on my right. He couldn’t understand why the symptoms in my right wrist had subsided and when I said that I’d had been having acupuncture for PMS and period pain, so my acupuncturist had treated my right wrist and shoulder and hey presto, big improvement – he was not impressed.

    He told me that acupuncture would not have helped it and he’s sending me off for a nerve conduction test to see what really is wrong with it. (Eye roll)

    I get it that he doesn’t want to be culpable for a misdiagnosis but there are times when I feel like the medical profession likes to punish me for fixing my ailments with witchcraft. Some of them do seem to take it as a personal affront.

  55. You’re not going mad, Quokka – you just posted Mayhem’s best wishes at Catty’s Conspiracy Corner and Rehabilitation Centre for Pirates who’ve Lost their “Aaargh!”

    Par for the narrow minded course with most Western medicos, I’m afraid. Completely unjustified in the case of acupuncture, because – unlike crystal twirling, reiki feeling and soul diagnosis by navel fluff analysis, etc. – acupuncture has been proven effective by the sort of studies that (should) impress the medical establishment.

    He’s probably (a) jealous and (b) feeling thwarted. Surgeons love to put cold steel to flesh… he’s pissed cos he might miss out!

    Good luck for the cupboards and the study. We won’t think ill of you while you’re away. We’re having pancakes when you’re finished, yes?

  56. I had a round of operations to repair the damage my offspring did while, well, springing.

    The first operation was only day surgery, but unpleasant nonetheless. We discovered I have an intolerance to standard anaesthesia. I was in the day’s first round of surgery, but was still unconscious when the lunchtime round came to the recovery room. They stuck me on a stretcher in the corner – possibly because the broom cupboard was inconveniently full of brooms. I think my blood pressure was 70/40 when they kicked me out of the hospital at tea time. I’m not sure, I was a bit wobbly.

    The second operation was much bigger. I was lying on the trolley in the prep room, admiring the pretty paper hat they’d given me. In comes the Proctologist. He described exactly what he was going to do. Complete with gestures. It was hilarious! Because, over his shoulder, I could see the television they’d stuck on the wall to distract pre-surgery victims. A cooking show was screening. The cook was preparing a chook for roasting, and wouldn’t you know it? What he was doing to that chook was EXACTLY what the Proctologist was describing! Except without the lemons and rosemary sprigs. I hope.

    Afterwards, though, I was in more pain than I can possibly describe. It was somewhat as I’ve always imagined hell to be like. (good reason to get religion, I’d say). Sadly, I now have an aversion to cooking whole chooks. Dismembering them leaves me inexplicably tetchy – and disinclined to sit.

    I also have a tendency to think of rosemary sprigs anytime I hear the word ‘colonic’.

    It was all downhill from there. The third operation was when I found out that my heart condition could cause complications – i.e, being dead. Odd, I didn’t think there was anything much complicated about being dead. But I didn’t die. Although, post surgery, I was in enough pain to wish that I had. Then a nurse came in and started chatting about acupuncture and acupressure. I told her she was free to stick her fingers up there if she liked, but if she put a needle anywhere in the vicinity of my scars, it might ’cause complications’. For her. She left.

    On my follow-up visit to the Proctologist, he began to outline the next surgical procedure. I laughed and laughed, and told him that he could shove his surgery where proctologists shove things best. He wasn’t impressed. But I didn’t care, as I had no intentions of ever seeing him again.

    That was a bit rude of me, I admit. Perhaps I should make amends, by inviting him over for a roast chook dinner?

  57. *shudder*

    I was a bit disappointed when both of mine turned out to be emergency caesers, but now I’m glad.

    Very, very, glad.

    Women should open up like ziploc bags for the easy removal of bubs. Scientists, hop to it.

  58. The news is not good, Doc has already outlined the next step, (surgery), even without test results. They fully expect it to confirm cancer and have basically told me now that is what I should expect.

  59. Oh, Mayhem. Good people like you don’t deserve this kind of thing.
    I’m praying they’re wrong. Or if they’re not, that the nasty bits are benign.
    Bugger, I’m slobbering all over the computer. Will send you an email when the waterfall stops.

  60. Ladies, this is my response to an email from Catty earlier today:

    Thank you, everyone has been really supportive, which helps no end.

    Obviously I’m still up and down, crying one minute cracking jokes the next.

    I’ve just now told my wonderful man. he had been hoping to get up here soon to whisk me away for a tropical holiday, but he went straight into the office and asked the boss’ wife how much leave he had. When she asked why he told her he was going to QLD, and told me he’ll get up here as soon as he can. Given that his mother was diagnosed at 45 and died within a year, I wouldn’t have blamed him if he’d run screaming in the opposite direction.

    Don’t worry about what to say. I’m not hoping for good news, but I AM determined to beat this. You’ve said all you need to say, I know you’ll be there if I need anything, the reaction from the burgers has been unanimous there.

    Now for the important question…. take your time, run a poll if you like… how do you think I would look as a blonde or a redhead???? Hoping for a change when the hair grows back…. and please GOD NO MORE CURLS!!!

    Please don’t get too concerned if I disappear intermittently. I’ll be around, but this will require some processing. I will keep you up to date with important developments.

    I will take any stray thoughts or prayers you can spare…

    • Well, blondes allegedly have more fun, Mayhem, but I think you’re too smart to go blonde… I see you as a feisty redhead, myself.

      Big hug and a rainbow of best wishes.

      I’m not far away – if I can do anything practical please let’s know.

  61. “Had you considered sneaking over there and stuffing as much of the crop as possible into the exhaust pipe of the bike?

    I’m also thinking about the scummy quality of KFC mousse, but bikes have key locks on their petrol tanks. More’s the pity.”
    ConspiracyCat

    Valve grinding paste, available from all good automotive shops. In the oil inlet. In time guaranteed to completely destroy an engine. Just saying.

    (P.S.) Hi Everyone.

  62. Thanks Dom – new correspondents with a thirst for vengeance are always welcome.

    Just one question, if I may. Where exactly is the oil inlet?

  63. DD, you made it here, good for you and welcome.

    Erm, kids, while my computer nook was all pulled apart for the cabinet guys to make their mess, I think I missed a memo.

    Last I saw Mayhem had gotten the all clear from the breast screen procedures. WTF?

    Mayhem, I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

    As someone who’s lived through the cancer experience, this bit where you are waiting to find out what’s wrong is definitely one of the crappiest bits.

    I can’t find the details anywhere here, but just remember that if they do find a tumour, it’s not necessarily a death sentence. Lots of people recover from it and lots of cancers respond very well to treatment.

    I don’t know what they suspect they’ve found, but have a look online and see if you can find support groups and forums for the particular problem they are looking for.

    Odds are good that you’ll find some good people who are really well informed about their illness and they’ll be an invaluable source of education and support. Nothing beats being around someone who’s been through whatever you’re going through.

    Try to take one day at a time and don’t get ahead of yourself with the ‘what ifs?
    For a year after my surgery, I was really, really tired, and I realize in retrospect it was largely because I was so tense and anxious. I was worried that the fatigue was related to the tumour but in reality the fatigue was mostly from the stress, so it was a vicious cycle of fatigue.

    When this bout of horror is over, I would suggest finding a meditation or yoga class to help to counter the stress. Most people say that it makes a huge difference.

    Big hugs, good luck with the surgery, and keep us posted.

  64. Did I hear somebody say Pancakes?
    My exams end on June 16.
    Count me in.

  65. We don’t have any details yet, Quokka – Mayhem’s waiting for the biopsy results – but it looks like surgery’s on the cards.

    Which means – chocolate bouquet! Milk or dark, Mayhem? I reckon a blonde would probably go for milk, but a fiesty redhead would probably prefer the sultry delights of dark. If you’re still undecided, perhaps assorted?

  66. I admit to a fondness for dark Madam.

    Quokka, There is definitely something there, not sure exactly what, but even without the biopsy results (btw: the core biopsy was REALLY not fun), the doc and nurses have told me that they are convinced it is a cancer. I’m guessing that they’ve probably got a solid basis for their suspicions. I’m actually quite glad they’ve already told me that it’s cancer, the rest is almost irrelevant if you can understand that.

    Girls, regardless of the grade of nastiness, I AM NOT GOING ANYWHERE!!!! I have NO doubt that I am going to beat this. In fact when I told my wonderful man that he’s not getting rid of me that easily, I’m not going anywhere, he told me that he’s not LETTING me go anywhere, we’ll get through this together. That, more than anything, has calmed me a bit. Everyone has been so supportive, but his reaction has just totally blown me away. He’s waiting for me to let him know what date I want him on a plane, and while I’d dearly love him to be here RIGHT NOW, I’m trying to be practical. He’ll be here as soon as I really need him to be.

    Meanwhile I embark on a program of healthy eating, quitting the smokes and exercise. I’m going to increase my fitness levels to help me get through whatever nastiness lies ahead. I will know more on Wednesday, and probably more again once I’ve seen the surgeon, I will let you all know as and when the info comes to hand.

    Thank you all again for your good wishes and support…. and chocolate.

    PS – My man has expressed a preference for blonde, and actually so has my Mum, probably the forst thing they’ve agreed on in years. Apart from Havock (now THERE’S a surprise), everyone else is voting Redhead. There may be a jerrymander happening regards this vote. : )

    • That’s the spirit, Mayhem… and give Fireman Sam a ‘good on you’ from us. We’re sorry for all those jokes we made about his hose.

      No, not really – I was getting a bit carried away, there. We stand by the hose jokes. Still, I’m very impressed that he’s “manning up” and being so supportive – running away would have been the easier option.

      I think you’re wise, keeping him in reserve. As lovely as it would be to have him to hold your hand right now, it’d be even better to have him to wake up to in recovery.

      Hmm, blonde, hey? Well, what type? Marilyn platnium, Jen Aniston honey… actually, any blonde other than Courtney Love skank-straw would be smashing!

      Pancakes, sometime late in June. Hold some calories in reserve for that, please, you health nut!

  67. Make sure Mayhem gets plenty of syrup on her pancakes! We just had pancakes for dinner, with syrup, ice cream, butter, brown sugar, and three different flavours of toppings. I was going to suggest sprinkles as well, but figured they were a little superfluous.

    I don’t get why you have to choose, Mayhem. If you lose your gorgeous locks, why not get yourself a variety of wigs, and then wear whatever damned colour you feel like! I’ve seen some sassy flouro pink ones, and I once saw one that looked like Guy Sebastian’s original ‘do (eeeeeew!). You can be a blonde on Monday, a brunette on Tuesday, a redhead on Wednesday, Medusa on Thursday, and Flouro on Friday. Then on the weekends, you can just walk around the house with a nuddy-skull.

    Hear hear, Madam. I stand by everything I ever said about Fireman Sam’s hose.

  68. First, pancakes don’t actually exist unless they’re smothered in syrup.

    Second, I’m going to scold you ladies if you don’t at least pretend to be a little discreet about Sam’s (very nice btw) hose. Can you imagine if he stumbles across any of this when he’s here?

  69. And here I was thinking our little veiled reference was sooooo discreet.

    I’m not surprised you think his hose is very nice if he stumbles across it.

  70. Hehehe. You should be able to get a sling to atach to his braces – you know, a hose holster.

    Can’t have him stumbling over it… that’d be an occupational health and safety issue.

    I LOVE the idea of a medusa wig, though (almost as much as I love the idea of having pancakes for dinner). What better thing to wear when you’re cranky and just want to be left alone? Hell, I’m going to start wearing one.

  71. he he he he… In Case Of Emergency, Break Zipper ….. he he he he

  72. Hehehe.

    We could have a belt buckle made up for him: “Warning: Contents Under Pressure. Do not puncture. Avoid naked flames – except Mayhem.”

  73. Caution: Everything you say for the next three weeks goes past the Sugar Fairy.

    I have this awful craving for allan’s snakes, and am starting to picture Mayhem’s head as a display at the lolly shop.

    * Slinks back to study corner *

  74. Mmm…. Mayhem’s head.

    Here’s an idea – forget the wigs (except for the Medusa one, that’s pure genius) and just wear fairy floss!

    Umm, unless you don’t want strangers coming up to lick you.

    Okay, the fairy floss idea needs more work. I’ll get back to you with V 2.0

  75. How about friends coming up to lick you? Really – the Boss is about ready to rip my tongue off, and I have to lick somebody!

  76. Catty, that might be a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Are you craving chalk or washing soda?

    Alternatively, you may be moulting.

  77. My cat licks the legs of the cast iron chairs in the dining room at breakfast every morning.

    Loudly.

    I don’t think its a deficiency.
    I think she’s spent too much time on my lap watching the Sarah Connor chronicles and she’s envious of the hyper alloy combat chassey. Her reasoning is that licking forge steel might help to generate her own.
    If she succeeds, the dog, her brother, the brush turkeys that clump up and down on the roof every morning, and Yelping Boy next door with his Fook My Ass yearnings are all totally screwed.

  78. O.k! I admit it! I have a sugar abuse problem….

  79. Hehehe.

    Hyperalloy Combat Kitty. When puss achieves her upgrade, Quokka, can she come for a beach holiday, please? I’d like to introduce her to the neighbour…

    Catty – sugar is currently in plentiful, affordable supply. So it’s not a problem!

  80. I KNEW IT! Those bastards down at the supermarket have been hornswaggling me!

    Three months ago, they said that sugar cane crops were so badly damaged by the floods up north, that the price was going up by 60%. (Last year it was eggs. Year before, pork. Year before that, bananas. Year before that one, milk. Hey, pedants need hobbies too, you know.) All products containing sugar (cakes, bikkies, chocolate, ice cream, etc) would also require a massive markup by default. I went from paying $3.99 for a 2 litre tub of Cadbury’s Vanilla, to $6.98.

    And now I find out it was all a lie? That’s it! I’m going down to the supermarket RIGHT NOW with a pencil, to do what Gran did in the classic Australian series, ‘After The Beep’. That’ll learn ’em.

  81. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
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    • Thanks Christian, and sorry for the delay. You got lost in the spam queue amid a lot of patio furniture manufacturers. Welcome!

  82. Catty, I’m not familiar with Gran’s work in that forgotten classic “After the Beep”. Just, please, try to refrain from inserting that pencil anywhere into any supermarket employee. That would be actual… or, more likely, grievous… bodily harm.

    And you can’t bake bikkies in gaol. Brew wine from tinned fruit cocktail and Vegemite, yes, but not bake bikkies.

  83. Gran walked slowly and calmly down the supermarket aisle, stabbing a pencil into each bag of sugar as she walked past.

    I loved that bitter, vindictive old woman. She’s what I want to be when I grow up. With cats. Lots and lots of cats. But I’ve ditched the idea of hoarding, after reading this:

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/1057902/chicago-couple-found-alive-under-trash

    I guess Today Tonight are just going to have to find someone else to do an exposé on.

  84. I saw that article. It reminded me of Magic Man’s room. There’s still little piles of rat food in the odd corner… and the rats got sick and got put to sleep months ago.

    I’ve fairly recently become a reformed Hoarder. It feels good to chuck stuff out and actually have storage space for useful things. Now, either something gets fixed straight away or its sent on its merry way to landfill. No more “Oh, half a plastic train missing 80% of its wheels! That might come in handy, I’ll just put it in the craft cupboard.”

    *Luxurious exhale* Feels good to have room to breathe.

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